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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pp. 070-079 in Fifth International Dairy Housing Proceedings of the 29-31 January 2003 Conference (Fort Worth, Texas USA)  701P0203.(doi:10.13031/2013.11605)
Authors:   J. Eric Hillerton, David Boast, Derek Davies, Ian Ohnstad, and Nicola Middleton
Keywords:   Liners, cow’s teat, milk flow rate, ageing of rubber, calcium salts

The useful working life of the milking liner may be determined by how long milking performance is sustained, any effects on the cow’s teat and the quality of milk collected. Working life is affected by the type of liner in use, its response to use and cleaning chemicals. In Europe liners are recommended for change usually after 2500 milkings, or a maximum of 6 months. Little obvious research data support this recommended life.

A uniform batch of milking liners produced from a single supply of synthetic rubber was aged for up to 6000 milkings by use in a commercial milking parlor. Periodically, a single cluster was removed and the milking performance tested in a controlled milking environment, using a single group of 8 cows. The effect of liner age on average milk flow rate, peak milk flow rate, completion of milk removal and condition of the cows’ teats after milking were assessed. The composition, shape, structural integrity and the mechanical properties of the liners were determined.

It is apparent that liner deterioration occurs gradually and that this has some measurable effects on milking performance prior to 2500-milkings but does not induce any trauma to the teats within the recommended life of 2500 milkings. Statistically significant differences in liner performance are apparent by 3000-milkings of use. There is no obvious reason to change the recommended length of life of this type of milking liner. These determinations were made on one model of liner only. However, a large proportion of all liners in use are made from exactly the same material so the findings have a broad application.

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